Monthly Archives: August 2011

What’s shakin’?

I used to think that there were some things that just weren’t, well, real.

Writer’s block, for example.  Nope.  It never happened to me, I thought.  PMS?  Well, ask my husband and son about that one.  Fibromyalgia?  Enough said.

But really, the idea of earthquakes in the Washington DC Metropolitan area?  No way!!

But check the news — we had one today.  In fact, it was the second earthquake I’ve experienced, and they’ve both been here!  Well, whatddya know.

My first earthquake happened before my morning alarm went off, well before I’d had my first cuppa.  So I don’t remember too much about it.

But today’s earthquake happened when I was wide awake.  And I can be eloquent about it:  it felt weird.

Yup, today, I felt the earth move under my feet.  I stepped under the doorjam and looked out the window, expecting the worst.  I saw the earth move under Washington!  But, thank God, the sky didn’t follow the song and come-a-tumblin’- down.  In fact, nothing tumbled.  Nothing at all.  Thank you and Yahoo to the building inspectors and the regulators who set standards for building construction in the U.S. – you guys are awesome!!!  Because with a few very minor problems, Washington stands.  Chalk up another one for the regulators who protect us all!

Well, of course all the buildings are empty now, so it really doesn’t matter.  They were evacuated.  You see, regardless of the fact that almost nothing happened, government buildings were emptied.  They sent folks home.  You would have thought there were snow flurries!

That, of course, meant that then everyone who works in Metro DC sat in their cars or on the subway, where they would be oh so safe in the event of a HUGE aftershock. 

You know, they even grounded the airplanes.  Ummmmmm…..  When something is happening on the ground don’t you want machines capable of getting off of the ground to be, well, off the ground.  DUH!!!

There was one casualty, though.  When I got home my dog, Cooper, was clearly traumatized.  You’d have thought that someone had vacuumed.  But no, next to him on the rug was debris.  Our home had clearly been damaged by the earthquake, and Cooper was the worse for it — two sports plaques belonging to my son Jacob had been violently shaken to the floor, where they will remain as a memorial to the Earthquake of 2011.  Or until someone else picks them up.

But when I saw the pandemonium that came along with the earthquake, I decided to help.

So can somebody please hand over the DC Metro Area’s “Panic Button” – I think that whoever has it now is trigger happy.


Filed under Humor


Yesterday on the way to work, I pulled up behind a garbage truck. That’s never a good way to start a day.

“Crap,” I thought, “Things can’t get any worse.”  Naturally I was wrong, because whenever I say that, well, you know what happens.  This time, immediately after I thought it couldn’t get worse, the driver put his left arm out of the window.  It held a lit, stinky cigar. Cigars are, well, completely disgusting, and they smell worse than just about anything on the planet.   Now  I was sure, that, well, things couldn’t get any worse.

You might say:  “When will she figure this out?  Things can always get worse!”  You’ll be glad to know that  I finally learned that lesson yesterday.  And I will never, ever utter that phrase again.

Because immediately after I had thunk that thought, the reeking garbage truck (driven by a man adding to the ambiance with his stinky cigar) started spewing plumes of noxious diesel smoke.  It coated the trees, the sky and my lungs with carcinogens.

“Ugggh,” I said to myself.  ”Things cannot get any worse.” 

OK, so I’m an idiot.  Sue me.

A few minutes later, I was caught off guard and lulled into a false sense of complacency when the garbage truck turned right and I turned left.

Thank God I don’t have to smell that anymore!” I thought happily.

I drove on for at least 15 seconds before I rounded a curve and had to brake sharply because of a stopped car.  Several stopped cars, in fact.  Cars going both directions were actually stuck right there along the road.  I have no idea why, except perhaps to teach me a lesson.

Did I mention it was a lovely morning?  Seventy degrees, sunny, clear.  No humidity.  Not a cloud in the sky.  A beautiful roll down those windows and let in the fresh air kind of day.  And so I did!  I had!  I won’t again — ever.

Because I found myself stuck in traffic with my windows open wide — next to a dead skunk.  For forty minutes.

Once I finally got there, I spent the day at work thinking about what an unpleasant ride in I had had.  I told my friends in the office about the garbage truck, the cigar and the skunk.  They laughed.  Much more stupidly, though, I thought it.  Worse,  I said it.  And I said it aloud:

 “Today can’t get any worse.”

And then I went home and watched the Republican candidates debate each other in Iowa.  And it was then that I realized and said ALOUD:

HOLY SHIT!!!  Things CAN get a lot worse.  If any one of these idiots (or any of the others considering getting into the race) should become President, things will get a whole lot worse.”

I said it, and I said it ALOUD.

So, America, we’re safe.  Because through me, we have all learned our lesson.

You can thank me later.


Filed under Humor

Mini Me

My midlife crisis ended last night, thank god.  The only problem is, I’m just not sure what comes next.

How do I know it’s over?  Did I decide that, yes, I really do sound just like my mother and it’s OK?  Did I get rid of my trophy spouse?  Did I decide that, really, combined sky diving/mountain climbing/yoga is just not for me?

Not exactly.  My husband John and I sold the symbol of my crisis:  my 2004 Mini Cooper S. It was medium blue with white racing stripes on the bonnet, a kick-ass six-speed manual transmission and a delightful engine of some sort that let me go from 0 to 60 as fast as I damn well pleased.

In my Mini, I drove like a demon; I knew it would never get me into an accident, because it would just slip out of the most treacherous predicaments.  Actually, I knew that I’d never get in an accident because other drivers were unfailingly nice to me, as if I were their favorite niece, and they were just letting me go off to have some fun.  Everybody smiles at Mini drivers.

In fact, when I first got it, I didn’t even know I was having a midlife crisis.  Imagine that!  I thought I’d bought it because it was fun AND because my building’s parking lot is a pain.  I joked about the lot one day to John, who then test drove a Mini with our son Jacob, the next day.  They ordered me to get one.  I really had no choice.

So imagine my surprise more than a year later when I picked up that copy of Vanity Fair at the hairdresser’s.  That’s how I learned that my baby, my Mini meant that I was, well, reaching a new stage in life.  You see, it is one of three cars chosen by women having a midlife crisis!  Actually, I felt gypped.  The article told me that the other cars were the Mercedes SLK500 convertible 2 passenger roadster and the Audi TT convertible.

Damn, I thought, those cars are 4 and 3 times the price of the Mini.  My midlife crisis was a bloomin’ bargain.  I felt like a floosy.

Still, it served its purpose — it gave everybody in town a chance to laugh at me.  Me, I didn’t need a trophy wife, a Porsche, or a big stinky cigar to prove I’d lost it.  To prove that there was a reason to laugh at me.

I blame the car.  I blame my dog, Cooper, because he hates to be left behind at home.  I blame that handsome guy.  Me,  I was innocent.

It happened one day when Cooper and I stopped by Safeway.  As he had a million times before, Cooper waited impatiently in the car, breathless for my return.

“Hewwo, Misterrrrr Cooooooper,” I said to Cooper when I got back with my groceries.  Naturally since I’d been gone for 10 minutes, I had to speak to him in my baby-talkin’-est way.  “Mommy’s back, Sweetheart.  Was Cooper a good boy while Mommy was gone?”

The handsome middle-aged man standing at the car next to mine looked panicky.  He was gawking at me, clearly scared.  His mouth opened and closed like Charlie McCarthy on quaaludes, and he was breathing faster and faster; he was hyperventilating and clearly thinking:

“I am standing next to a woman who is talking baby talk to her car

She is crazy.” 

Of course, I realized almost immediately why he thought so.

“Oh, no,” I said, laughing.  “I was talking to my dog.  His name is ‘Cooper.’”  Charlie McCarthy closed his mouth, got into his Porche and drove off, laughing.  But I’m pretty sure he wasn’t laughing with me.

I was half way home, still wiping tears out of my eyes, before I realized that I’d owned the car for four years.  And that Cooper and I had been going all around town together in the Mini Cooper the whole time.   The whole town now thinks I’m nuts, I realized with an accepting sigh.

So, really, I embarrassed myself every bit as much with my Mini and with my Cooper as any man with his trophy wife could have.

And so, while I’m sad to see the Mini go, I’m ok with ending the midlife crisis bit.  But I’m just not quite sure what comes next.  Well, after the trophy husband, that is.


Filed under Humor